United States Citizenship
Naturalization is the process through which Lawful Permanent Residents (green card holders) gain U.S. citizenship. Although it is a voluntary process, there are many benefits to U.S. citizenship including:
- the right to vote;
- the right to petition for certain immediate family members;
- certain tax benefits;
- freedom from certain obligations imposed in order to maintain status as a US Permanent Resident; and
- freedom from the exposure to possible deportation.
Am I eligible for naturalization?
US Citizenship is available to foreign nationals who can demonstrate that they:
- meet continuous residence and physical residence requirements;
- have been physically present in the US for at least half of the immediately preceding five years (three years if married to a US citizen);
- are at least 18 years old;
- are able to speak, read and write simple English;
- have a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history and of the principles and form of government of the United States;
- have good moral character; and,
- will be attached to the principles of the US constitution.
There are many methods to acquire U.S. Citizenship:
- Marriage – One way to gain U.S. citizenship is by marrying a U.S. citizen. To apply for this, make sure that you are aged 18 years or above and are marrying a person who has lived in the U.S. for the past three years. You also need to ensure that you have been a permanent resident in the country for three years at minimum.
- Armed Forces – Members of U.S. Armed Forces who are a non-citizens can also gain U.S. citizenship if they fulfill eligibility requirements. The process is simple and straightforward.
- Through parents – You are suitable to achieve U.S. citizenship through your parents as well. Generally, there are two ways for this:
- By birth
- After birth and before turning 18 years old.
- Green Card Naturalization – Naturalization can be referred to as a process of granting U.S. citizenship to an immigrant after they fulfill all the obligations established in the Immigration and Nationality Act. To apply for the process of naturalization, you need to file an application. Also, you will undergo a naturalization self-test.
Significant absences from the United States may affect your ability to retain your Lawful Permanent Resident status, and your eligibility to apply for naturalization.
Under certain circumstances, Lawful Permanent Residents who are spouses of US citizens temporarily stationed abroad, ministers, or military applicants may be eligible to apply for naturalization without meeting the standard continuous residence and physical presence requirements.
The United States allows dual nationality but your country’s laws may not. You may wish to contact your consulate or embassy to inquire about your home country’s position on dual nationality.
The information contained on this site should not be viewed as legal advice and should not be relied upon without specific legal counsel being sought. Each individual has unique needs and circumstances. Please contact the immigration lawyer to arrange a consultation to determine whether you are eligible for naturalization.